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tributes of God. It is a daring of his juftice, an invading of his fovereignty, a defying of his power, an abufing of his patience, and a defpifing of his love, mercy, and goodnefs. It contradicts his will; thereby the potfherds ftrive againft their Maker, and lufts are fet up againft his holy law. It robs him of the glory due to him from his creatures, and turns to his dishonour. When God had perfected the frame of the world, and made man and all the creatures for his glory, fin entering marred the whole frame, and made the workmanship of his own hands difhonour him. O, is it not a great work then to get a pardon, and all thefe injuries buried in forgetfulness with a holy jealous God!

(3.) God's elect have endured fad breakings of heart from the time they were made fenfible of fin, till they have got their abfolviture from it, Acts ii. 37. They have known the terror of the Lord, to the breaking of their bones, ere they could get a glimpse of his reconciled countenance. Think ye as light of pardon as ye will, if ever the Lord come to give you a fpiritual medicine to cause you sweat out the poifon of sin, it will make you fick at the heart, if it bring you not to the laft gafp, If. xxxiii, ult.

(4.) Laftly, If ever ye get a pardon, there will be an awful folemnity at the giving of it, Pfal. lxxxix. 14.; and it will be a very ftrong faith that will not receive it with a trembling hand, Hof. xi, 10. compare chap. iii. ult. They fall fear the Lord, Heb. fear to the Lord. For God gives no pardons but what are written in the blood of a Redeemer, fufficiently teftifying his detefta, tion of the crime; none are got but through the wounds of a Redeemer. So that the very throne of grace ftands on juftice fully fatisfied; and thou fhalt be made to fay when thou getteft the pardon, as Jacob did of the place where he had flept all night, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the boufe of God, and this is the gate of heaven, Gen. xxviii. 17.


Therefore look on it as a matter of the greatest weight, that will not be flightly managed, and to purpofe too.

Mot. 3. Confider the dreadful difadvantages that attend an unjustified state. While ye are unjuft,

1. Ye can have no access to God, nor communion with him, Rom. iii. 3. Unpardoned guilt is a parti tion-wall betwixt God and you, If. lix. 2. It stands as the angel with the flaming fword to guard the tree of life, that ye can have no accefs to it. It is true, ye may attend public ordinances, and go about private and fecret duties; but they are all loft, as to communion with God, in the great gulf of an unpardoned state. Ye cannot have a comfortable word out of his mouth, nor a smile of his face.

2. Ye can have no peace with God, Rom. v. 1. What Jehu faid to Joram, God fays to every unjuftified finner pretending peace with him, What peace, fo long as the whoredoms of thy mother Jezebel, and her witchcrafts are fo many? 2 Kings ix. 22. It is fin that makes God an enemy to the work of his own hands; and while it is not forgiven, there can be no reconciliation. How can they think they have peace with God, whom his law condemns? What peace ye have in your confciences, arifes from ftupidity and prefumption; it is flolen, and is none of God's allowance, İf lvii. ult. Neither could ye command it, or retain it, if ye faw your cafe.

3. Ye can have no fruits of holinefs. The confcience must be purged, ere one can ferve God acceptably, Heb. ix. 14. or do any work good in God's fight, 1 Tim. i. 5. Juftification and fanctification are infeparable, and a juftified state goes before a holy life; for to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that juftifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteoufness, Rom. iv. 5. While a man is unpardoned, the curfe lies on him; and it is a blatting withering curfe, like that on the fig-tree, that no fruit of holinefs can grow where it comes. For it ftops the communication of

fanctifying influences, and the earth fhall fooner bring forth its fruits, while the influences of the heavens are reftrained, than a foul fhall do any good work without the influences of Chrift's Spirit, John xv. 5.

4. All you do is turned to fin by this means, Pfal.. xiv. 1. A foul unjuftified, is as a tainted veffel that turns every liquor that is put into it. Hence your very civil actions are turned to fin, Prov. xxi. 4. natural actions, Zech. vii. 6. yea and your religious actions too, Prov. xv. 8. If. lxvi. 3. For as the pureft liquor put into a veffel for bafe ufes is loathed, fo are the beft performances of an unpardoned finner, by a holy God. For whatever they be as to the matter of them, they are selfish and hateful as to the principle, end, and manner.

5. Lastly, Hence your accounts are running on every day and moment to the avenging juftice of God, Rom. ii. 5. Thou art ftill deeper and deeper in that fearful debt, the cords of thy guilt are growing stronger and ftronger. Thy crimes and grounds of condemnation are multiplied more and more; and though it is dying for all, yet the more thy punishment will be increased, that the pieces of guilt increafe. It is true, that every one is finning daily; but a juftified perfon's debts are not charged on him for eternal wrath, but temporary chaftifements; fo that theirs is but an account of pennies, while thine is that of talents.

Mot. 4. Confider the unfpeakable advantages of a pardoned justified state. He that is in that ftate is a happy man, whatever his case be otherwife in the world, Pfal.xxxii. 1. He may meet with many croffes in a prefent world, but the white ftone given him of God, will make him happy for all that, Hab. iii. 17. One may be rich, yet reprobate; his portion fat, but his foul lean; applauded on the earth, but damned in hell. Thefe things come from God's hand; and the crown of worldy felicity fet on with his bare hand, he will kick off with his foot at length. But a pardon comes from his heart, as an eternal love-token,

Rom. xi. 29. O, let the happiness of a juftified stateengage you to feek after it. Get into the ftate of pardon; and,

1. Ye fhall have peace with God, Rom. v. 1. Sin is the only controverfy betwixt God and a foul; when that is removed, the parties are reconciled, and meet together in peace. God juftifying the finner, lays by the legal enmity he bare to him, while he lived in a ftate of fin. He purfues him no more with wrath or curfe. The heavens that are now black above your heads fhall clear up, and ye fhall enjoy a pleasant funfhine, if the cloud of guilt were difpelled. O Sirs, do ye not value peace with God? If ye do, then seek to be in this state.

2. It will bring you other peace befides. Peace of confcience follows upon a juftified ftate. Unpardoned guilt makes a foul and condemning confcience, which gnaws a man like a worm. But when one gets his confcience sprinkled with the Redeemer's blood, and his fin pardoned, the confcience is cleanfed, Heb. ix. 14. And then it is turned to a good conscience, which fings fweetly in a man's bofom, 2 Cor. i. 12. Yea, ye shall have peace with the creatures, that are at war with the unpardoned finner, Job v. 2 3. Having thus gained the favour of the Master of the great family, the fervants fhall all turn to be your friends.


2. Ye shall have accefs to God with confidence and holy boldness, Eph. iii. 12. 1 John iii. 21. God fhallno more fit on a tribunal of ftrict juftice to you, with the flaming fword before him; but on a throne of grace, with a rainbow round about it, Rev. iv. 3. And ye may come to him with all your wants, complaints, &c. as unto a friend, yea a Father in Christ, confidently expecting all good things from him, Job xxxiii. 24. 26. For being juftified, ye have a fatisfaction to plead, upon which he can deny you no good thing; ye are clothed with a righteoufnefs that VOL. II.


makes you spotlefs, and are under a covert, where love and favour fhine continually.

4. Ye fhall be delivered from the dominion of fin, Rom. vi. 14. and be made to bring forth the fruits of holinefs, Col. ii. 13. As foon as ever the remiffion is paffed the feals, fo foon the orders are given to deliver the prifoner, to beat off his chains, and open the prifon-door, and fet him at liberty. The apoftle tells us, that the firength of fin is the law, 1 Cor. xv. 56. namely, the law condemning and curfing the finner, fo that the finner being under the curfe, fin reigns in him with a full fway, as the thorns and briers in the curfed ground. But the law's curfe and condemning power being removed in juftification, fin lofes its ftrength. And the blefling coming in its room, the foul is made fruitful in holiness. Hence faith's fanctifying virtue is fo much infifted on in the word, Acts xv. 9.

5. It will take the venom out of your croffes, and the ftrongest afflictions ye meet with, 1 Cor. xv. 55. The venom of afflictions is the curfe in a cross; but pardon takes out that. A bee-fting your troubles may have after that, but the ferpent's fting fhall no more be found in them. A pardoned ftate fanctifies croffes to a man, and a fanctified cross is better than an unfanctified comfort. A lofs with God's favour, is more than an enjoyment with God's wrath.

6. It will fweeten your mercies with an additional fweetness, and make a finall mercy more valuable than the greatest earthly comfort an unpardoned finner can have, Pfal. xxxvii. 16. Who would not chufe to live at peace in a cottage, on coarfe fare, than to be in the cafe of one under a sentence of death, liberally fed in a caftle till the execution day? A mercy without a pardon will go fhort way; the man may cry, There is death in the pot, Mal. ii. 2. But a pardon puts a bleffing in a mercy, purifies and refines it, putting a stamp of God's good-will on it, Gen. xxxiii. 10.

7. It will make all things work together for your

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